January 26, 2014

"Trellis", by James Merrill

Again, ramshackle skeleton,
You spare the house what is about to happen.

Out of nowhere, up from the bleak ground,
My greedy twinings overcome your frame,

Climb, put blue suns forth, suicidally thicken,
And, spoiled at summer's end no doubt

By so much wooden acquiescence, brag
Of having woken a response in you.

Who can say? A night is coming, I remember,
When I share your body with frost. A second,

And I withdraw into myself for winter.
Never mind. I'll bloom next year.

You only, love's uncomprehending object,
Will be replaced after a season or two.

January 11, 2014

"Aboard the Ship", by Constantin Cavafy

It certainly resembles him, this small
pencil likeness of him.


Quickly done, on the deck of the ship:
an enchanting afternoon.
The Ionian Sea all around us.


It resembles him. Still, I remember him as handsomer.
To the point of illness: that's how sensitive he was,
and it illumined his expression.
Handsomer, he seems to me,
now that my soul recalls him, out of Time.


Out of Time. All these things, they're very old—
the sketch, and the ship, and the afternoon.